Sitting Positions to Avoid during Pregnancy

Written by: Gabriela Alvarado



Time to read 6 min

Pregnancy is a wonderful and exciting time, but it can also bring some challenges and discomforts. One of them is findingthe rightsitting position that doesn’t put too much pressure on your back, belly, or pelvic floor.

Continue reading to learn which sitting positions should be avoided during pregnancy, and what’s the correct posture you should maintain during this time. 

How Posture Affects Your Pregnancy Journey

As your baby grows inside your belly, yourcenter of gravity shifts forward. This can cause you to arch your lower back, tilt your pelvis, and lean backward, which can lead to lower back pain, sciatica, pelvic pain and other discomforts—especially if you keep a poor posture throughout your pregnancy.

Good posture can help you prevent and relieve these problems by keeping your spine in line, distributing your weight evenly, and relieving pressure from your muscles, joints and ligaments. It can also help you breathe better, improve your blood flow and support your digestive system.

Another benefit of having a correct posture is that it can help your growing baby get into the right position for birth. If you slouch or slump, you may reduce your baby has to move around and make it harder for them to get into the optimal head-down position.

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Which Sitting Positions Are Not Good during Pregnancy?

You may have heard that you should avoid certain sitting positions and habits to ensure a healthy pregnancy, and may be wondering what these are and why they can be bad for your baby. Here are the things you should avoid when sitting while pregnant: 

Crossed Legs

Crossing your legs can reduce blood flow to your lower body, causing swelling, varicose veins and even blood clots. It can also put pressure on your pelvic muscles and nerves, which can affect your baby’s position and development.

To avoid these issues, try to keep your legs uncrossed and slightly apart when you sit. You can also elevate your legs by using a stool or a pillow to improve your blood flow.

Sitting in a Chair without Back Support

You should always sit in a chair with a good backrest that allows you to maintain the natural curve of your low back. You can use a pregnancy pillow or a rolled-up towel to provide extra lumbar support, if needed.

Dangling Legs

Be mindful of chair height: if you sit on a chair that’s too high or doesn’t have a footrest, you may end up dangling your legs in the air. This can cause swelling and numbness in your feet and ankles. It can also increase the pressure on your pelvic floor and cause pelvic pain.

Try to sit on chairs that have the right height for you, so you can rest your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest.

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Sitting for too Long

Sitting for long periods of time, whether at work, at home or in the car, can also have negative effects on your pregnancy. Sitting for too long can reduce blood circulation, increase swelling, cause muscle stiffness, and increase the risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

You should limit your sitting time to 30 minutes at a time, taking breaks to stand up. It can also be beneficial to stretch and walk around when you get up from sitting for extended times.

Correct Sitting Posture during Pregnancy

While pregnant, it can be challenging to find a good sitting position that doesn’t hurt your back or your baby. The main tip to follow when sitting is to make sure your hips are higher than your knees. This reduces hip pain by decreasing tension in your hip’s ligaments, and it increases the space your baby has to move around inside the belly.

Another tip is to keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Avoid slouching or leaning forward, as this can put pressure on your lower and upper back, and cause lumbar and neck pain.

Depending on how far along you’re in your pregnancy journey, there are some things you need to adjust when sitting down:

  • In the firsttrimester, try to sit in a comfortable chair that allows you to rest your head and arms. You can use a pillow or a blanket to support your neck and shoulders.

  • In the secondtrimester, avoid crossing your legs or ankles. Instead, keep your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest. You can also elevate your legs periodically to reduce swelling.

  • In the thirdtrimester, avoid sitting for long periods of time, and use a pillow or cushion to support your belly and take some weight off your back.

One of the best ways to sit comfortably during pregnancy is to use a good glider chair. Nurture& Gliders are especially designed to keep you comfortable during pregnancy and after your baby is born. Some of the features these gilders offer are:

  • Power recline: You can adjust the angle of the backrest to find the most comfortable positions for your and your baby.

  • Smooth glide: You can gently rock back and forth with a smooth gliding motion that soothes both you and your baby. This can help with labor preparation and breastfeeding.

  • Adjustable headrest: You can raise or lower the headrest to support your head and neck in any position.

  • Power lumbar support: You can increase or decrease the lumbar support to fit the curve of your spine and relieve any pressure on your lower back.

Other features that can come in handy are:

  • Stain-resistant fabric.

  • Non-toxic materials.

  • Built-in USB.

Nurture& Gliders are not only comfortable, but also stylish and durable. They come in various colors that will match any nursery decor.

Tips on How to Maintain a Proper Posture during Pregnancy

Pregnancy posture is not only important when you’re sitting; you should also be mindful of your body’s position during nearly every other activity you do throughout the day.

How to Stand

Your standing position should be keeping your head up, your shoulders back and your chest out. Keep your feet slightly apart and wear comfortable shoes that provide good support. If you have to stand for a long time, you can shift your weight from one foot to the other or use a footrest to elevate one foot.

Correct Posture When Driving

Driving can be tricky when you’re pregnant, especially in the later stages. Adjust your seat so you can reach the pedals and the steering wheelcomfortably, without straining your back or abdomen. Use a seatbelt that fits properly over your shoulder and under your belly.

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Lifting Heavy Objects

Lifting heavy objects isn’t recommended when you’re pregnant, as it can increase the risk of injury or premature labor. However, if you need to lift something, you should follow some precautions.

  1. Ask for help or use a cart or a trolly, if possible.

  2. If you can’t avoid doing the lifting yourself, make sure you bend your knees and keep your back straight when bending over.

  3. Hold the object close to your body and avoid twisting and turning when getting up.

Best Sleeping Position

Sleeping can also be challenging when you’re pregnant, as you may find it hard to get comfortable or stay asleep. The best sleeping position for pregnant women is on their side, preferably their left side, as this can improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to the baby. Avoid lying down on your back or stomach, as this can cause discomfort or complications.

Sitting comfortably and safely can make a big difference in your and your baby’s well-being. Remember that every pregnancy is different, and you should always listen to your body and consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns. You deserve to enjoy this special time without unnecessary pain or stress.

Nurture& Gliders can help you get relief for your pregnancy and postpartum back pain. Check out our collection!

L. Elizabeth Forry

Medically reviewed: Gabriela Alvarado

Medical surgeon with certifications from Imperial College London and Johns Hopkins University. Committed to medical excellence, she has conducted several academic research projects that have contributed to the advancement of the field.

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